£1750 › Can Spe­cial­ized’s Ex­pert Car­bon Sirrus-ly com­pete?

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

Spe­cial­ized has aimed the Sirrus Ex­pert Car­bon, from its fit­ness range, at those who de­mand high-end per­for­mance. The com­bi­na­tion of a car­bon frame and fork with Shi­mano 105 gears shows that the brand means busi­ness. The FACT 9r car­bon frame has sub­tle looks with its matte black fin­ish, and in­ter­nal cable rout­ing to add to its clean lines. Don’t be put off if you ride at night be­cause the paint has a re­flec­tive coat­ing.

The wide, flat­tened top-tube flows smoothly into the rear seat­stays and while it ini­tially ap­pears in­tim­i­dat­ing, and even slug­gish, after a few pedal strokes you’ll en­joy a light yet for­giv­ing ride. It’s not overly lively and even after three hours in the sad­dle we didn’t have any is­sues.

The FACT car­bon fi­bre fork is re­spon­sive, and com­bined with Spe­cial­ized’s Fu­ture Shock that sits be­low the stem, it de­liv­ers a truly for­giv­ing ride. Orig­i­nally de­signed with in­put from mo­tor­sport ex­pert, McLaren, for pro rid­ers at the Paris-Roubaix, Fu­ture Shock works like a damper sit­ting in­side the head-tube, de­liv­er­ing up to 20mm of travel.

With the move­ment hap­pen­ing above the head-tube the rider is sus­pended and not the bike. This makes for a more com­pli­ant ride, yet re­mains rel­a­tively ef­fi­cient with­out the sys­tem hav­ing a great ef­fect on over­all han­dling. It’s sym­pa­thet­i­cally de­signed, sit­ting neatly within the head-tube too.

It’s not but­tery smooth like a moun­tain bike fork, which soaks up ev­ery rip­ple, but when you hit the rough stuff it helps to iron out the sur­face with­out feel­ing bouncy or sap­ping your en­ergy. Even out of the sad­dle it doesn’t bob un­less you start throw­ing your weight around.

The wide, flat­tened top-tube flows smoothly into the rear seat­stays

The fork uses a 12mm thru-axle, mak­ing for solid track­ing. It’s also good to see plug-and-play mud­guard mounts at the bot­tom of the fork blades, and on the rear of the frame.

Brak­ing is taken care of by TRP’s FSC (Flow Set Control) hy­draulic discs. Th­ese al­low for pro­gres­sive brak­ing with­out feel­ing grabby, re­gard­less of your skill level or the rid­ing con­di­tions. The two-fin­ger brake levers are well shaped with am­ple reach and the match­ing Mi­croshift gear shifters de­liver crisp in­dex­ing.

The 11-speed Shi­mano 105 11-32 cas­sette com­bined with 48/32 chain­rings on the forged alu­minium Praxis Alba M40 chain­set of­fer a wider range of gears than a reg­u­lar com­pact. This al­lows more time to be spent in the 155mm-wide Spe­cial­ized Canopy Comp sad­dle than out of it.

The wheels com­bine dou­ble-wall shal­low aero-shaped rims with Spe­cial­ized’s own brand hubs that ben­e­fit from sealed bear­ings. The 30mm road tread Spe­cial­ized Espoir Sport Re­flect tyres fea­ture a punc­ture pro­tec­tive layer.

The Sirrus is a rider-friendly bike that rolls well, de­scends like a dream and en­joys climb­ing while still re­main­ing re­li­able and sta­ble. Best of all it’s for­giv­ing on the body with­out sac­ri­fic­ing per­for­mance, whether it’s a short ride to work or en­joy­ing a longer sportive. It’s a classy ride but you pay for it.

Be­low Fu­ture Shock sus­pen­sion adds an­other layer to rider com­fort Bot­tom The Praxis chain­set of­fers a wider gear range than a reg­u­lar com­pact setup

A rider-friendly bike that rolls well, de­scends like a dream and en­joys climb­ing HIGHS Plush ride, rider-friendly ge­om­e­try, pot hole-re­duc­ing Fu­ture Shock, 105 gears LOWS Sad­dle on the wide side, tyres when you head on to gravel BUY IF You are search­ing for su­perb com­fort in a ca­pa­ble and easy to ride bike

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